Monday 23 October 2017

What is the point of the @BarnetCouncil Twitter account?

An article caught our eye on the new A Better Mill Hill Blog. It details major roadworks today in Mill Hill and the lack of information available from the council about what is going on. As the Mill Hill blog shows, the signage is woefully inadequate and there is no information on the councils Twitter feed or on their website detailing the roadworks. Here is what they said:-

Urgent News Update - Major Road surfacing in Mill Hill Broadway Mon 23rd October

Today we learned of major resurfacing works in Mill Hill Broadway on Monday 23 October between 08:00 and 18:00. We have tweeted to alert residents to avoid the area. Parking has been suspended and there is likely to be significant congestion, especially in rush hour.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Avoid Mill Hill Broadway Monday 23/10 - major road resurfacing works 8am-6pm
As you can see, the signage is woefully inadequate. A contact number for help has been obscured on the posters and a hand written sign stating that it will be a tow away zone. You may notice contradictory different times on different posters (some stating works finish at 18:00 PM (sic) and some 17:00). Surely such important information should be checked and correct. 

We believe that when such major roadworks is being undertaken, the council should ensure that the contractors ensure proper signage (two sided so unmissable) is put up well in advance. We would also like to see signs advising motorists to avoid the area placed at all strategic junctions.  
Of course roadworks have to be undertaken, but these should be planned and residents kept informed.  We believe that the council should use its Twitter feed and Roads website to keep residents properly informed of all roadworks, closures and maintenance that affects road users. Mill Hill Broadway is the Borough's busiest railway station, so a plan should have been put in place to minimise disruption. If passengers are being dropped off for trains connecting to inter city or air services, this could have disastrous implications. 

We believe that websites and twitter feeds should be used to pass on useful information concerning our neighbourhood. All too often, they are simply used for PR purposes for Barnet Council.  

 Now as you can see they raise the point as to why the Council doesn't use its Twitter account to alert residents to such issues. We had a look at the Councils Twitter account and there is all manner of rather worthy information there that is all very nice such as this

Of course we'd love to see everyone putting chewing gum in the bin, but in terms of why a resident might follow the Council Twitter site, do they really follow it to be pontificated at? Surely Twitter is at it's best when we are getting up to date useful information on it.

Barnet Council is paying a member of staff to administer this account. I take the view that if my taxes are paying someones wages, I want them to do something useful. Updates on roadworks etc would be practical and useful. Surely this should be a number 1 priority for the council tweeters? It really isn't rocket science is it. Oh and do remember to take your chewing gum home as you chew madly in the congestion on the Broadway today!

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